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The Dreamers (2003)

NC-17 | | Drama, Romance | 20 February 2004 (USA)
2:28 | Trailer

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A young American studying in Paris in 1968 strikes up a friendship with a French brother and sister. Set against the background of the '68 Paris student riots.


(screenplay), (based on the novel)
776 ( 150)
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Robin Renucci ...
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ...
Himself (as Jean-Paul Leaud)
Florian Cadiou ...
Pierre Hancisse ...
First Buff
Valentin Merlet ...
Second Buff
Lola Peploe ...
The Usherette
Ingy Fillion ...
Theo's Girlfriend


Paris, spring 1968. While most students take the lead in the May 'revolution', a French poet's twin son Theo and daughter Isabelle enjoy the good life in his grand Paris home. As film buffs they meet and 'adopt' modest, conservatively educated Californian student Matthew. With their parents away for a month, they drag him into an orgy of indulgence of all senses, losing all of his and the last of their innocence. A sexual threesome shakes their rapport, yet only the outside reality will break it up. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

20 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Innocents  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£117,181 (UK) (6 February 2004)


$2,531,462 (USA) (4 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There were scenes in the script depicting much more blatant sexual relations between the characters of Matthew and Theo, but they were not filmed. Director Bernardo Bertolucci said, "The gay sex was in the first script, but I had a feeling that it was just too much stuff. It became redundant." Actor Michael Pitt said in an interview, "It was in the script and it's what I'd signed to do. But they said we weren't going to do that." See more »


On the walk along the canal, Isabelle states that she "...entered this world on the Champs-Elysees, 1959." She is obviously much older than 9, but she is not referring to her actual birth. She is reciting a speech from Breathless, whose clips are shown. See more »


[first lines]
Matthew: The first time I saw a movie at the cinématèque française I thought, "Only the French... only the French would house a cinema inside a palace."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits scroll down the screen (top-to-bottom), and multi-line entries are written to be read bottom-to-top. See more »


References Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) See more »


Queen Jane Approximately
Written and Performed by Bob Dylan
Published by Special Rider Music
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A romantic confession of a great filmmaker
1 August 2004 | by (Athens. Greece) – See all my reviews

Paris, May 1968. Revolution breaks out and the world seems to be in a critical turning point, but inside the four walls of an apartment, three youngsters experience their very own revolution.

Yes, it's true. In the year 2004, one of the best cinematic experiences is offered by Bertolucci. Many are those who'd thought that he had nothing more to give, but with THE DREAMERS, the creator is reborn and next to his heroes he witnesses again the passage from adolescence and innocence to the age of responsibilities. A great fan of cinema himself, he doesn't hesitate to pay a number of tributes, just like Godard used to do in the past and Tarantino very recently. As he puts his view into the eyes of his protagonists, the girl and the boys seem to live inside the movies they adore. They're playing with lines from known films, they imitate characters, they put themselves into the sequences they love.

Despite their young age, all three actors not only do they show that they're worth of starring in a Bertolucci film, but they also go even further giving in every scene the necessary vividness and realistic tension. Ignoring the cosmogony taking place in the streets, they surrender to their own cosmogonic changes, to the wild sexual awakening, to the game between friendship and love, pleasure and pain. Eventually they commit themselves to the struggle between the game itself and real life. And that's where the heroes violently return in the thrilling final sequences in order to face their duty towards history.

THE DREAMERS is by far one the best motion pictures of the year, so daring but at the same time so energetic that seems able to touch anyone as a pure and romantic confession of a great filmmaker.

124 of 169 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Dumb question: Why is he always peeing in the sink? Loe_307
What I learned from The Dreamers.... daloxrr303
Is there actual sex? SporteGrl
Michael Pitt=Poor Man's Leonardo DiCaprio alixitis
What was psychologically wrong with Isabella? oh-my-mcfly
Not Pure Garbage doof14
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